Sunday, August 14, 2011

Intellitots Preschool, Gurgaon

I had reason to visit Intellitots, which is a preschool near Vipul Square in DLF Phase IV recently. I was interested in checking them out since they have recently moved into a new location which is a dedicated school building and have been developing themselves a lot since they first started with mostly mommy and me kind of programs, which I had written about at that time.


Some info and impressions:
  • The management of the school is putting a lot of thought and effort into developing the individual programs. This was visible in everything I saw - from the way the groups are classified for maximum effectiveness to the level of detail in the curriculum that they have developed to the way they have done up their classrooms. 
  • Their preschool is divided into 3 different age groups from toddler to about 3-4 years of age. Before a child goes into a toddler group, he/she can be part of an infant-parent or toddler-parent program which involves the parents as well. In addition, they offer several enrichment programs on things like reading, drama, science, etc.
  • The curriculum is developed in house and they're not really pretending to follow one or the other fixed approach with a fancy sounding name as their education philosophy. They're developing things based on common sense backed up with experience since many of their teachers and administrators have a lot of experience working with kids. This lets them be very creative in their themes as well as the activities they do to support their themes. I had a chance to look at some of their theme material and was impressed with the level of detail and planning to execute each one of them. 
  • The infrastructure of the school really supports their goals. Since the school is in a nursery school building, there is ample indoor and outdoor space for the kids and the administration of the school. The building does come across as a little "raw" still since it is waiting for a final coat of paint and a couple of finishing touches. I guess they need to wait for this rainy season to end and school to close for holidays before that can happen.
  • At this time, they do not offer either transport facilities or in house meals. Kids need to bring their own tiffins from home. 
Despite my overall good impression of the place, since neither of my kids has actually attended Intellitots, I did not feel totally comfortable about my judgement of the school. I ended up sending a questionnaire to one of the Intellitots parents. Below are her responses, edited only for length.






1.       How long have you been associated with Intellitots? 

My son Rehan has been with Intellitots for the past one year and nine months (since Oct 2009) He joined in the parent toddler group and then “graduated” to the preschool in April 2010. The first stage in the preschool is called Baby Bears, the second stage is called Happy Hoppers and the last Busy Bees. Rehan is now in Happy Hoppers.

2.       How has your experience with Intellitots been? 

My experience has been great. Intellitots has not only met my expectations but exceeded them.  For me, it was important that the “first experience” which Rehan has of the outside world (i.e. outside of his home) and of a school should be positive. It should make him love the very idea of a school per se. I feel that once a child likes going to a school, there are much higher chances of the child loving “learning” also.

At Intellitots, there is a lot of concentration on making the child feel loved, secure, safe and comfortable. Small things like giving a warm welcome every morning to each child by hugging the child, smiling and talking to him/ her, being always ready to listen to the children, ensuring that the kids are taken properly by the didi to the toilet etc makes a world of difference.

Rehan looks forward to Intellitots every morning. Since he likes the school, he loves learning and grasping things too. It’s amazing to see him talk about the things he learns at Intellitots - whether it be the songs, counting, good habits etc. He feels very comfortable with all his teachers. The way his teachers respond to him has made him so confident of himself. Even in other social situations like say at the doctor, or at the park in the evening or meeting relatives and friends, Rehan’s pretty articulate and confident and a large part of this is due to the environment at Intellitots.
  
3.       Comments on Intellitots teachers, staff and infrastructure?

One word which immediately strikes me when I think of the teachers at Intellitots is – dedication.  It shows in their behavior with the kids as well as with the parents as to how committed they are. The teachers are so energetic and enthusiastic; it’s a joy to see them in class with the children. Though each of the teachers have their own personality which they bring to the table but something which is common to all, apart from being dedicated is that they all are loving, caring, patient and humble people. I think to be a good teacher, it’s so important to be a good human being and Intellitots is lucky to have a wonderful team on board. The teachers are also very accessible. One can go up to them and talk about anything.

The staff is always polite and ever willing to help out. Right from the people in the office to the guard at the gate to even Savitri didi, everyone is courteous.

As far as the infrastructure is concerned, I have seen the school grow from the time it was in the earlier location to now at 4101, DLF phase IV.  The infrastructure is getting better each day. It’s so apparent that the school wants nothing but the very best for its children whether it be the discovery zone with the books corner, kitchen, toys or dress up corner, the swings, the furniture etc. In my opinion, if I compare the sheer quality of each these things to other places, I would say that Intellitots is far ahead.

4.       What do you think of the curriculum and the general philosophy of the school? 

The curriculum is well researched and apt for each of the age groups it is meant for. The level of complexity increases as one progresses from the parent toddler stage to Baby bears and then to Happy Hoppers and even further as the children enter the last stage i.e. Busy Bees.

The fact that the curriculum introduces the children to numbers, alphabets, colours, shapes, visits by people from different professions like say a dentist, reading s book every weekend, concepts like opposites, fuits and vegetables, body parts, cookery activities, different articles in our houses, developing their fine motor skills by having the kids handle scissors etc make it extremely comprehensive.

The best part about the curriculum is that its enjoyable which in turn makes it extremely engaging. Children love the music and songs they play at Intellitots. Kids learn a lot and have fun learning and understanding concepts. When I hear Rehan sing rhymes and talk effortlessly about different countries, colours, numbers, healthy food, opposites etc, one can’t help feel anything but thankful to Intellitots.

As I perceive it, the philosophy of the school concentrates on transparency, openness, effective communication, fairness, respect for others, being humble and sincerity. The value of transparency comes across right at the outset when they offer you a free demo class. You can actually get to see a class and if you don’t like it, there is no compulsion on you to sign up. Parents can walk anywhere in the school and see for themselves how things are being run. That’s real transparency. 

The entire vibe at Intellitots is so energetic, enthusiastic, happy, affectionate, positive that it’s a treat to go there every day.

5.       What has Rehan’s experience at Intellitots been like? 

Rehan’s experience has been very positive. Intellitots has contributed a lot to Rehan’s personality shaping into what it is today and to his knowledge as well and I must say they have contributed beautifully.

Rehan’s loves the idea of going to school, he looks forward to meeting his teachers as well as his friends, he likes to take things for the “show and tell” activity during circle time, he is curious and looks forward to learning as such, is confident and articulate, very secure as a person and its quite visible how, over the past nearly two years, Intellitots has added to his turning the way he is.

One of the factors for Rehan enjoying the learning at Intellitots is also the music and songs. Rehan loves singing and playing music on his keyboard thanks to it being such an integral part at Intellitots. That has made learning even more fun for him.


In the end I would just day that a good teacher can make not just a child’s life happier but also make a world of difference to the parent’s life too. Intellitots has done just that and I am so thankful that we chose it. 




As always, if you have any experience of the school that you'd like to share or any further questions about the place, do feel free to leave a comment. 

5 comments:

Living In Colombo said...

Hey guys, I happen to see this article and thought I had to comment.

I have been commenting on a few of the blogs particularly with the pre-schools in the past.

Both my kids Dinek and Diyan went to Intellitots (after we've had rather disappointing experiences from Pumpkin house and Pallavan).

Intellitots was hands down the best choice I even made. Diyan my youngest was born a cleft palate baby. I was told that i would have to do intense speech therapy to help him develop his palate muscles.

We happen to enroll him in the toddler program when he was an year old... and we never had to look back. The program is so interaction and hands on that Diyan picked up ALL his age appropriate language skills and more. Diyan in now 3 and have never had to go through a daunting speech therapy program.

I was completely sold by the dedication and "commonsense" used by all the teachers there. If this school could do so much for a kid like Diyan image what the impact it can have for other children.

Also please note that Intellitots teachers are all well qualified and I think they even help train other teachers in other schools.

Plus, I love there parent-toddler program that doesn't traumatize the child by the parent having to leave.

Hope this review helps other parents.

Living in Gurgaon said...

Ruvy! I'm so excited to see your post. I lost all my old contact numbers with my old phone and didn't know how to get in touch with you. Are you still in Gurgaon? My email is manikagandhi@gmail.com. Please send me your number:-)

Manika

Pachyderm said...

This is such a small world. My daughter used to be in Intellitots toddler program with Diyan, who was quite my husband and my favourite! "Living in Colombo": so good to meet you again; you may remember us as Ananya's mum & dad, acytually my husband went for more sessions than I did. Please give a hug to Diyan for me.
Manika, to come back to Intellitots, its a great place. Ananya still remembers Jimmy uncle and Kiran aunty with great love, and goes back for summer programs. If the playschool had started then, and Ananya had not got into Anand, Intellitots would have been my choice. We till go back for summer programs

Pachyderm said...

This is such a small world. My daughter used to be in Intellitots toddler program with Diyan, who was quite my husband and my favourite! "Living in Colombo": so good to meet you again; you may remember us as Ananya's mum & dad, acytually my husband went for more sessions than I did. Please give a hug to Diyan for me.
Manika, to come back to Intellitots, its a great place. Ananya still remembers Jimmy uncle and Kiran aunty with great love, and goes back for summer programs. If the playschool had started then, and Ananya had not got into Anand, Intellitots would have been my choice. We till go back for summer programs

vsveena said...

Intellitots wordworld program has really improved my nephew's vocabulary. Their program for 4 years onwards is very different than other ones as children are always engaged in fun games and mazes.The emphasis on phonics is helping him to read and write as well.